Saturday, January 31

A Place in the Sun - [blogged by Iain]

We have been looking for ways to expand our commercial photography activities and one of the areas we have been interested in is exhibition photogrpahy. I went to the "A Place in the Sun" exhibition in Birmingham last year at the invitation of the organisers. I presented the organisers with a selection of the images and must have done something right, as we have been appointed as the official photographers for this year's exhibition in London in April.

The images below were taken from the exhibition in Birmingham last year. Watch this space to see this years images...

Thursday, January 29

Helping a Friend

Earlier this week I went to visit a friend of mine who is a florist based in London. I have known Randal for many years going back to the time when I worked in the corporate world and he organised flowers for us on a weekly basis. He also used to send flowers to authors and created amazing arrangements when we were hosting book launches and other events.

We were discussing how to attract more business in these challenging economic times and I suggested he try setting up a Blog. Although Randal liked this idea he is not great with technology so I helped him to set up the structure. However, I insisted that he did the first blog himself. And so the Blog for Flowers by van Twisk was created...

Please visit his Blog and give him some feedback. If you know of anyone who is getting married (or hosting an event) I would highly recommend you get in touch with Randal as he really does provide a personal service at competitive rates. The images below are from an event he covered at Mansion House in the Summer. We went along to take some images for his portfolio and he managed to create some truly impressive displays in this amazing location. His contact details are:

Tel: 020 7834 4071

Wednesday, January 21

Hallmark Travel Event in West Sussex

We spent Saturday at the Hallmark Travel Extravaganza in East Grinstead. It was held at East Court in East Grinstead and we know the location well as we photographed a wedding there in September. It was an extremely busy day for us as the event started at 10.00 and finsihed at 5.00 p.m. Throughout the day there were presentations by the various tour operators as well as activities going on in the hall, including local Indian restaurant Nizam. In some ways it was similar to a wedding fair where there are busy periods and then really quiet times. However, overall I thought the response was pretty good for a very cold January day. The Mayor opened the event and we took some photos, but as these may appear in the local press I won't put them up here yet. I thought Charmaine from Hallmark Travel had organised this event really well and everything seemed very smooth and professional. Sadly, we were not in a position to book a holiday ourselves but if you are thinking about your plans for 2009/2010 I would highly recommend getting in touch with Hallmark Travel. Hallmark Travel chose the British Heart Foundation as their charity for the event and made a donation to them for each person who registered for the event.

Here are some of our favourites from the day... all comments welcome. If you were one of the tour operators at the event, the event gallery will be online soon and Charmaine will be in touch to let you know the details.

Thursday, January 15

Hallmark Travel's Holiday Extravaganza

I wanted to let you know about a great travel event that is taking place in East Grinstead at the weekend. Hallmark Travel who are an award winning Travel Agent, based in East Grinstead, are organising a Travel Holiday Extravaganza. This is a great opportunity to plan your holidays for 2009/10 and the beauty of it is that it's right on your doorstep. It is taking place at East Court Mansion, East Court, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 3LT. Charmaine at Hallmark Travel has really put a lot of effort into making this event a success and I would highly recommend you come and have a look if you live in the area.

We will be attending the event as the official Photographer's so we may just see you there.

Hallmark Travel's
Holiday Extravaganza 2009!

Saturday 17 January 2009
at The Meridian Hall, East Grinstead
10am - 5pm

If you need some inspiration…If you have something to celebrate… If you just want something different…

Our Holiday Extravaganza is a day full of exciting ideas, presentations, advice and help with planning and pricing…with experts and specialists gathered on just this one day and just for you!

Programme details, presentation times and appointments available

Visit Hallmark Travel's website for more details...

Visiting Stan

For those of you that are one of my "friends" on Facebook, you may have noticed that my status sometimes refers to "Stan". He is my uncle and has unfortunately spent the last 6 months in hospital. He was finally moved to a very nice nursing home called Albany Lodge in Croydon just before Christmas. I went there to visit him on Wednesday this week with two of my cousins. Iain took some photographs while we were there and this is quite rare for me because you don't often find me on the other side of the camera! We had a lovely time visiting him and we were all very impressed with the nursing home and how is being looked after. Hope you like them...

Wednesday, January 14

Family Photo Shoot in Sussex

This weekend was a really busy one for us. We had already planned to deliver a wedding album on Sunday to a couple in Brighton and then we were asked to do a family photo shoot. We worked out that we could do both by starting fairly early and doing the family photo shoot on the way to deliver the album. It was a fairly overcast day when we set out but fortunately the weather improved while we were there. Our biggest challenge was actually finding the house in the first place! I am so glad we were asked to do the family photo shoot and here are some of my favourites from the day... All comments welcome.

Tuesday, January 13

Frosty Mornings

Last week it was extremely cold in Sussex so on Saturday I got out of bed fairly early (for a Saturday!) and took some photographs of the area around where we live. I was fascinated by the frost that formed on the leaves. I particularly liked the first image that was backlit. There was a general whiteness outside which does not really come through in the images but I've included the one of the tree to give some sense of this. Enjoy... and comments are welcome.

Monday, January 5

18th Birthday Party

On Saturday night we were asked to go along to a very special 18th birthday party. We have known Chloe since she was very little as she went to school with Max, our son. We set up a "mini studio" in one of the bedrooms and we also roamed around taking casual photographs. It was a great opportunity to take some very special family groups in the "studio" and seemed to be quite popular. We are now processing all the images from the evening, but in the meantime I wanted to post a few here and I will also put some on Facebook. It was a great evening and Chloe looked stunning. How quickly they grow up!

Friday, January 2

New Years Day Photo Shoot

On 1st January 2008 we did a family photo shoot (of Iain's family) and decided to do the same again this year. It is something we plan to do every year on 1st January with whoever is available. Unfortunately it was a bit grey yesterday so the light wasn't brilliant but I really enjoyed the day. It was also an opportunity to wish everyone Happy New Year and have a little drink together. I had made soup because it was so cold outside that I knew everyone would need warming up afterwards - and it seemed to be very welcome. It was great to get everyone together and I really had fun doing it - I hope you all did as well!

I was fortunate to be able to attend a seminar in November by David A Williams a top Australian photographer. One of the things I brought away from this seminar was the importance of creating memories for future generations. So many of us don't like to be photographed because there is something about ourselves that we don't like (myself included). Or we just don't think that we are photogenic. Or, perhaps, we just don't see the point of it all. What David brought home to us was the fact that we are creating treasured moments for our children and their children and beyond... There will come a point when your children are going to want to have a photograph of you that includes them. This is quite a responsibility for photographers. It is also worth remembering that your children will love you no matter what you look like. It is our job as photographers to recognise what people may not like about themselves and work with the positive points.
I was really encouraged yesterday by the fact that everyone was very positive about the session. I wondered afterwards if this was because they had been told up front what the day was all about and that it included having your photo taken. This would probably mean you are more prepared. My own experience is that I know I do not look good in candid shots. However, if I am asked to pose I can generally get a good photo out of it. My daughter, for example, does not like photographs taken from one side but is happy with the other side. I actually quite like it when someone tells me they are not photogenic because I want to prove them wrong, but I will always listen very carefully to the clues they are giving me.

To show some examples of what I mean I have included two photographs at the end of this blog which demonstrate the parent/child relationship. One is the last time I was photographed with my father in August 2005. He died unexpectedly in January 2006. The other is one of me with my daughter taken during the same holiday in Scotland. They are both treasured memories for different reasons. I am very self critical about myself in both images but, at the same time, I recognise their importance.

I hope you enjoy the photos and I would love to receive any comments. The reason I am not in the shots is that, apart from the fact I was behind the camera, this is Iain's family so it was more important to have him in the groups. If we were doing a similar photoshoot with my family up in Scotland the roles would be reversed and he would be behind the camera.

Kennedy Family Photo Shoot

We came back from Scotland early as we had been asked to do a family photo shoot in East Grinstead on 28th December. The main photo shoot of the day was with 40 people and there were several other photo shoots with smaller groups. These will be uploaded to our website for the family to view. I spent a little while with some of the children while the adults were having lunch and some of my favourites are below. I have also included a photo I took right at the end of the day of the oldest member of the family. I think she looks amazing and she must have been so proud to have her family with her on such a special day.